Journal article Open Access

Intersectional Magical Realism: Articulating Suppressed and Ignored Realities

Khan, Scheherazade

This paper seeks to demonstrate the potential to describe complex realities by developing our reading of traditional forms of literary genres, such as magical realism, to coincide with developments of identity politics. Moreover, ignored and suppressed voices cannot be acknowledged solely with a subscription to literary realism without recognising its complicity in the suppression of marginalised and intersectional voices. Hence, magic, which inherently defies the rules of realism, can reveal the fiction of dominant discourse and construct accurate narratives of complex intersectional narratives. In establishing the term ‘intersectional magical realism’ this paper explores how magical realist fiction that uses magic in a world rooted in realism to present an opportunity for unspecified intersectional identities to be explored without disbelief and/or resistance. I examine Toni Morrison’s Beloved to emphasise how magical realism sets up the environment in which nuanced conceptualisations of gender, race, sexuality, class and identity can be imagined and represented.


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